Community Associations

On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., approving oral communication as a method to dispute the validity of a debt. This decision overruled Graziano v. Harrison 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991), a long-standing case requiring a writing to dispute a debt and will affect all consumer debt collectors including those collecting debt for community associations.

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If you watch or read the news lately, the coronavirus seems to be everywhere. And that’s the problem, right? With the uncertainty of what might be coming, community association boards and managers may want to take actions to help protect their residents and limit the spread of this virus. Rethinking close quarters gatherings – such as social events and meetings – may be prudent or even mandated to help residents keep the recommended “social distance.” This coronavirus may run its course soon, but another type of crisis could be around the corner. Boards and managers should have contingency plans in place for meetings so that they and the owners can continue to conduct business.

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When community association board members hire a transition attorney for their condominium or homeowners association, they may not know exactly what to look for. They may not know much about transition to begin with, or may not know the right questions to ask in order to find the right transition attorney. If your association is looking for a transition attorney, or you are reconsidering the one you have, the following may help you to identify the right transition attorney.

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Acting Governor Sheila Oliver has signed into law S1150, creating a flexible inspection schedule under the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for multiple dwelling inspections under Title 40.

Historically, the DCA has required inspections at a minimum of once every five years. The length of time between inspections raised concerns over what additional violations could take place over the period before the next inspection, as well as the potential lack of action to address noted issues. To provide a solution, S1150 was introduced by sponsors Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and Sen. Brian Stack.


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In January 2018, when new Public Recreational Bathing regulations were implemented in New Jersey, interest in the specially exempt status of community associations spiked. This interest was fueled by community association board members hoping to avoid substantial costs for additional lifeguard personnel and equipment mandated by the new regulations. As specially exempt public recreational bathing facilities, community associations may legally choose to operate their pools without lifeguards. However, this decision must be carefully considered and made only after consultation with the association’s legal counsel, insurance agent, and pool operator.

New Jersey Bathing Code

The Public Recreational Bathing Code is part of the New Jersey State Sanitary Code set forth at Chapter IX, N.J.A.C. 8:26, et seq. (“Bathing Code”). It may seem counterintuitive, but community association pools used by two or more dwelling units are considered “public recreational bathing facilities” for purposes of these regulations even though they are not open to use by the public. The Bathing Code was updated by the New Jersey Department of Health on January 16, 2018 and community associations felt the impact immediately. Among other requirements, the new regulations mandate that all lifeguarded pools have an automated external defibrillator, lifeguard platforms are required at some pools that previously did not require them, and many pools must employ more lifeguards than previously required, each with their own lifeguard platform. The cost of the additional personnel and equipment is anticipated to be quite high for many community associations and this has led their fiscally responsible trustees to look for options.


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Property managers are often tasked with leading a board or member meeting. These tips will help to keep the meeting on track and productive. Before doing anything else in preparation for the meeting — double check compliance with notice requirements. No notice = no meeting.

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance – “The Five ‘P’s”

Preparation is the key to a successful meeting. Determine what type of meeting will be held – that is, a board or member meeting. Create a clear and concise agenda. Remind the board that it is your role to keep the meeting on track. Organization helps to start things off right and keep the meeting on the right track.


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